Surfing Punta Mita: La Lancha and Burros

La Lancha

Culbeck Family, La Lancha

Surfing in the Punta Mita area of Mexico makes it a very popular destination for both novice and expert surfers. With destinations like Anclotes, La Lancha, Los Veneros, and Punta Burros it is easy to see why people would travel thousands of miles to visit the area. Writer, and surf enthusiast Justin Henderson takes a look at some of the local surf spots.

Surfing Nayarit – Photos by Donna Day and Kemi Vernon

Surfing in Nayarit can be great—big waves, no crowds, warm water, sunshine. Pretty much perfection.

Or it can be crowded and small and uninspired, but even then, the weather’s usually perfect, and you might get a couple good ones to yourself even on a bad day, especially if you go to places a little off the beaten path. Two spots pictured here—La Lancha and Burros—require a little local knowledge to find, but as you can see, they are great looking beaches and even when the waves are little, they’re fun to ride. When the swell gets big, watch out!  These spots can bomb.

Surfing La Lancha

Author Surfs La Lancha, Donna Day

Both spots are located on the northern side of Bahia Banderas, maybe an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, east of Punta Mita and south of Sayulita. If you come on down to ride some waves, ask around, in Sayulita or out at Anclote, near Punta Mita—somebody will show you the way. You can even pay a surf guide or a Punta Mita-based panga boat captain to take you there. You’ll probably run into a few members of the crew pictured here if you do.

Punta Burros

Punta Burros

This much I’ll tell you: both spots are primarily right breaks, but often have high quality lefts as well. In both cases there’s a ten minute hike from the Punta Mita highway to the beach. At one spot, a large all-inclusive hotel lies just west of the beach that faces the break, and near the other, somebody just made the idiotic decision to build a new gas station in the highway right next to a creek that forms a lagoon near the beach—a lagoon wherein a friend of mind spotted a nine-foot alligator not long ago. Both beaches have great tidepools, lots of birds, lots of fish, and even—I’ve seen at least one almost every time I’ve paddled out—the occasional sea turtle.

And on many occasions, of course, whatever the size, small, medium or large, these places offer fun, fast, and exciting waves. You want more info, post a comment below with email address.

Justin Henderson is the author of nine books on architecture and interior design, travel guides to Costa Rica, Los Angeles, and the Caribbean, and seven murder mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Lucy Ripken. His surfing style is much like his writing, playful, smooth and easy on the eyes.


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